Take courage...He is calling you
By: Father Marini's Homily


Today is the Sixth Sunday in Great Lent - the Sunday of Bartimaeus the Blind. This morning we hear the last of the miracle stories leading up to the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. These stories focus our attention on our sinfulness and show us how the spiritual disease of sin affects our souls. Today's story is about blindness. Yes, today we see Jesus curing blindness.

This is an important comparison to sinfulness because it is the last one, and also because the Evangelist even tells us the name of the blind man - Bartimaeus, i.e., the son of Timaeus. Even though he was blind, Bartimaeus knew that Jesus was passing by, and he seized what might be his only chance to be cured. Because of his Faith and his persistence, Jesus cured him.

This comparison of sin to blindness is very interesting, not only because it is so vivid to most of us - those who are sighted - but also because it is so accurate. You see, we almost always assume that blindness is total - like Bartimaeus' blindness. In this total blindness, the person has no sight whatsoever - can't even tell light from darkness. This is a very accurate description of a soul totally devoid of sanctifying grace - it has no Divine Light by which to view its own state and discover the Way to repentance and forgiveness. But there are other kinds of blindness, like legal blindness, or partial blindness or even color blindness.

I think that most of us have this kind of blindness when it comes to sin. We have this kind of selective blindness by which we can't or won't "see" certain things, certain sins, even though everyone else can see them easily. Yes, most of us are like this - we can see and recognize most sins as sins, but there are some sins, maybe one, maybe more, which we just can't "see" or recognize for what they are - seriously wrong and offensive to God.

But just as Jesus cured Bartimaeus' blindness, Jesus is waiting to forgive our sins and to end our spiritual blindness, whether it is only partial or absolutely total. One thing is certain: when we go to Jesus with Faith, He will forgive and cure us. We at the end of Great Lent; our time of penance and renewal is nearly over. Do we want to miss this opportunity to be cured of spiritual blindness?

Like Bartimaeus, Jesus is calling each one of us to come to Him. All we have to do is to "take courage" enough to throw aside our pride and sinfulness like Bartimaeus threw aside his cloak, and go to Jesus. Then, when Jesus asks us: "What do you want Me to do for you?", each of us can say with conviction and humility and confidence, "Master, I want to see!"